Ludlow's Lesson #8: Life on Lac La Croix
Hod was in charge of the trading post at Campbell's. This was the main source of groceries and other sundries for the Ojibwe tribes living in the area. The goods were primarily acquired through fur trading, including lynx, otter, mink, beaver, wolf and fisher (the most valuable at $60 a pelt)! Hod was very interested in learning Ojibwe, and was eventually able to identify most items in the trading post in the language.
The villages were located approximately 3 miles from the trading post. Hod and Lil would frequently visit for pow-wows. He recalled going many evenings and participating in what were called "Give-a-Way" dances. This was a side-by-side dance in which one person was given an object and would then do a dance with the giver. It was then the recipient's turn to give an object of equal value for the reciprocal end of the dance. According to Hod, he had been trying to sell a .22 rifle for $5 in the trading post, but had been unsuccessful. One evening Lil took the gun and gave it to one of the Ojibwe and when she was the recipient she was in turn given $5!
Hod and Lil enjoyed their time on Lac La Croix and in addition to relationships with the Ojibwe tribes there, also connected with members of the Vermilion tribes. Ka-Gi-Shig was the name given to Hod by the Ojibwe and they gave Lil the name Wasa-Cho-Bee.
The canoe in the lodge was given to Hod and Lil by the La Croix Ojibwe who made it. The beauty of a birch bark canoe was weight (only about 60 lbs) and birch bark's flexibility. The bark flexes and does not tear when hitting rocks. The deer hides in Sun-up and Coffee-time were also given to them by the La Croix Ojibwe.
Next lesson we will focus on Hod and his time and work with the Boy Scouts!